Hello Peeps. It feels like I know many of you because I’ve been lurking here for over a year.
First: Thank you. Really. Your honesty has strengthened my resolve to take this journey and, perhaps most importantly, has helped me manage expectations. Oh how I wish for a magic pill that will instantly cure me of this obsession and give me back dozens of years. Because of you my head is screwed on properly and I know the road is not straight. Thank you.
Second: I’m in week 7 of TSM. A daily drinker and AA renegade. I’m alone on the path (except for y’all) mostly because of leftover AA shame and also because I tend toward a solitary life. So, again, thank you for being here.
My stats for the record: - pre-TSM controlled drinking: 30 (ish) - weeks 1-5: 20-27 - week 6: 20.5
Last night: 1 drink! That feels huge.
Naltrexone and I are not a great match on the physical side of things. The SE’s are very real for me. I started at 25 for a week then up to 50 for 3.5 weeks. My body just can’t take it. So I’m sticking to 25 for now even though the SE’s remain constant. It is working and I’m in it for the long haul.
My goal (as I see it now): hmmm. It’s complicated. I’d like to be able to drink moderately once in a while. I’d like to experience zero obsession/compulsion.
Having said that, I wonder why I’d want to drink at all since a/ Naltrexone makes me feel sick and b/ alcohol has taken its toll on my life in many ways (maybe that’s a subject for another post - but you already know what I mean).
Sooo...my goal is to find clarity around my relationship with alcohol or (better yet) not worry about it at all.
Today is my birthday. Starting a Progress thread is my present to myself. You have already given me a lasting gift by being right here with me.
Sorry you're struggling with side effects. They do usually go after a couple of weeks.
I used to wonder why the heck I drank alcohol too. Until I realised that its basically an incredibly addictive substance that is woven into the fabric of every occasion in life. It's everywhere, all the time. So bottom line, over time, no wonder so many of us succumb.
Post by ready4joy on Sept 17, 2018 19:17:04 GMT -5
Hi Rella, Welcome! Keep checking in and posting your questions and experiences. We all learn so much from each other. Lots of stuff I want to respond to in your post but (thanks to TSM and nal) I will wait until tomorrow to reply. Glad you are here.
Thanks Pip and R4J. It’s lovely to be “heard” out here in the ethers. I spend so much time in my own head...it’s become too comfortable. Plus drinking feels too much like sneaking so I’m relieved to come out here in this forum.
Speaking of relief, since I’ve embarked on TSM I feel less conflicted about drinking and addiction. I have waves of well-being (tho I’m far from well at this point). It’s odd that Naltrexone makes me feel sick yet the process helps me feel well. Well-ish. Hopefully the SEs will subside, but at 7+ weeks in I’m not expecting that. Hopefully I can use them to find my way to AF days. For now I’m just happy to be a few steps back from the ledge.
Post by joesixpack on Sept 18, 2018 2:27:48 GMT -5
Welcome to OSL, Rella!
Glad to hear you're making progress with TSM. If nausea is a problem, some have had luck with OTC motion sickness meds. I think some of the non-drowsy formulas contain ginger and some here have said that ginger candies are helpful.
Post by gilamonster on Sept 18, 2018 10:17:43 GMT -5
I wanted to encourage you to continue and make Nal work in whatever way you can. I think for some of us, taking Nal + alcohol can be much more complex than it is for others. It appears that the lucky ones have experienced the "just take a pill" and eventually it will work, or the side effects will go away in a few weeks or found themselves to be early responders. I live in the subcategory of not only a late responder, but the reality that the side effects NEVER went away, even after 30 weeks and especially if I take a dosage close to 50 mg. So, this process seems to be quite individualized for some of us.
With all that being said, because my Nalovers and SE are as debilitating as a severe hangover if I drink the usual amount with Nal (which really challenges the motivation to continue on this path), I have focused on more AF days and reducing the amount I drink with Nal, on any given day. And, reducing the dosage of Nal to about 35 mg. I find that Nal almost functions as an alcohol enhancer, meaning that with less drinks than before, I am quite tipsy and ready to stop for the night. The end result is that I drink less each week, so that is a positive place to be in!
Ouch. I was hoping that My drinking was seriously trending down. I guess not. Looks like 4 drinks tonight. Which is not good. I know: take the long view! Today was craving from start to finish. I guess it’s a “win” of sorts because I didn’t start until after 6pm.
Post by joesixpack on Sept 19, 2018 1:25:55 GMT -5
It's not unusual to see an uptick after a low week, Rella. I tell people to log the days, tally the weeks and watch the months, because TSM is generally brings improvement on a month over month basis. Days and weeks just jump around too much.
I just finished week 7 with my 2 highest drinking nights yet my weekly total is the lowest yet. Go figure. I think I’ll take Joe’s advice and look at it month-to-month rather day-to-day. (Even at my age I still want to be the star pupil. Lol.)
I’m struck by the fact that we are pioneers of a sort. Many of us are without a physician’s guidance (Drs. Sinclair and Eskapa excepted) and here we are figuring it out for ourselves. Targeting our addiction with a medicine, tracking our own progress and determining our own path to a cure. I’m sorry that the medical world is so slow on the TSM uptake (at least in the US and U.K.). I think one reason for that is Drs. don’t trust a process that puts us in control of the Naltrexone “when” and adds in the + drink part. I haven’t had great experiences in the medical mental illness world. In fact, my disappointment in their offerings had become its own pathology for me until I started doing my own research and taking control of my own path to health.
Disclosure: last winter I voluntarily entered a psychiatric hospital for depression. I don’t know what I was looking for other than RELIEF. Depression has dogged me through sober years, fruitful times and hard moments. None of the available medications helped. And, of course, alcohol hasn’t helped. I left the hospital and subsequent outpatient program lower than I’ve ever been: in my opinion there is truly something wrong with the system. I can go on about my experience and maybe some day I will, but this post is about me feeling empowered by TSM and another alternate path I’ve taken to find relief from depression. (I treated myself with an illegal and natural substance that helped me slowly break break the rigid rut I’ve been in.)
Even after my 2 highest drinking nights I feel good. I feel hope. I feel like I’m finally on a path that makes sense. And I feel like I finally have the support I need: my fellow pioneers here on the forum. Thank you!
Post by SilentBob on Sept 20, 2018 19:49:34 GMT -5
Rella, regarding docs in CT who prescribe Nals...
When I first heard of TSM back in January, I searched quite a bit for an in-state doc who'd write a script. There were only a few practices that I came across that mentioned Naltrexone in their info, but they typically are addiction treatment centers which seem to require some sort of commitment to a long-term treatment program, which isn't my preference.
I asked my personal doctor about Nals, and he said he'd heard of it being used for AUD but that he doesn't prescribe it. I'm looking forward to seeing him again in the next 6 weeks or so for my yearly checkup, and my first since I started TSM, and I intend to fully inform him of my progress and success with the program. Hopefully he'll come around to see that it's a valid and useful tool in treating AUD and become a prescribing doctor.
I found a doc in NYC that had weekend appointments who gave me an evaluation and a script. Because he was out of network, I had to pay out of pocket. In six months I've only had to see him twice and he's given me two 90-day refills since. and he can prescribe in Connecticut. But if I can convince my local doc to prescribe it, I'll submit his name for inclusion in the "Find a Physician" section.
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